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By ESPN Staff

Coppell calm as Shorey rejects new deal

Reading manager Steve Coppell has revealed that England defender Nicky Shorey has rejected the chance to extend his contract.

The Royals had been hoping that Shorey, who was capped by Steve McClaren in last month's 1-1 friendly draw with Brazil, would agree a deal to ward off potential suitors after being linked with West Ham, Manchester City and Newcastle.

Instead, he has decided to turn down the chance of a bumper pay rise to make sure his options remain open.

Coppell insisted he was not unduly worried as the 26-year-old still has two years of his existing contract to run, as does England Under-21 striker Leroy Lita who is another the Royals have failed to tie down on a longer deal.

Coppell said: 'Nicky Shorey is going to stick with his current situation and there are no new contracts imminent.

'Both have two years left so it is not of immediate concern to us. We are realistic about the situation.'

Last month saw midfielder Steve Sidwell depart the Madejski Stadium for a new start at Chelsea after the ex-Arsenal man opted to allow the final 12 months of his Reading contract to expire. Reading had made a series of improved offers but each was turned down.

Coppell continued to pick Sidwell throughout the club's debut Premiership campaign and is sure to do the same with Shorey and Lita.

Yet Reading remain one of the Premier League's poorer relations and could be tempted by big money bids for either player, with Lita having impressed for his country during June's Under-21 Championship finals in Holland.

It had taken Lita a while to reach full fitness last term following a broken ankle towards the end of the promotion campaign but he overtook Ireland international Kevin Doyle to end the campaign as Reading's top scorer with 14 goals.

Coppell admitted the player was now confident enough to set his sights on success on a grander scale.

He said: 'He started last season slowly but then came on and the Under-21 scenario was a reinforcement in his own mind that he could compete at the highest level.

'In pre-season he has been looking extremely sharp.'

With Glen Little still struggling with the Achilles problem that ended last season prematurely, Coppell admitted he was tempted to make one final foray into the transfer market to bolster his options on the right flank.

He said: 'I'm not anticipating making any more signings but we have been in the situation throughout the summer that if someone became available that we liked then we would do something about it.'